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Winter Ale - Telegraph Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter AleWinter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Telegraph Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JayTheFinn on 12-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kegmasterxlarge
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

kegmasterxlarge, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of TrojanWheels
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

TrojanWheels, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

First off I just have to say I really friggin enjoyed this beer. I got this one along with a few of the other telegraph bottles earlier in the week and brought this one over to the parents house louse night. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/24/2008.

The pour was very nice. A rich dark brown with a slight purple hue to it on the outsides of the glass. Rich looking to say the least and nearly opaque. There was a touch of tan head at first, but it just kept building and eventually a full one inch of chocolate colored foam came forward and stayed until the very end.

Super rich aroma that just transformed the warmer it got. Rich notes of chocolate, chilli, slight raisin and prune notes and touches of light grain. The flavor was more of the same, incredibly complex and really impossible to describe. Lots of cocoa here as well as light touches of chili and prunes, raisins, hints of everything. Rich and velvet like texture was the highlight here. I am not sure what the ABV was but this thing was damn nice to sip on for a while.

Overall I thought this one was outstanding and one of the best beers I have had all year. I would love to have a couple of these laying around for sure.

mikesgroove, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of phichifiji00
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Almost black with a subtle red hue. Thick tan head that fades slowly. Moderate lacing.

Smell: chiles, orange peel, caramel, chocolate.

Taste: Cinnamon, ancho chiles, caramel, orange peel, chocolate, spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy, smooth.

Overall: A very tasty beer. Again a wonderful beer from Telegraph and very surprising. The spices and chiles are wonderful, the citrus notes balance perfectly and the chocolate and caramel background is well done. Very drinkable. The best winter beer I've had so far this year. Telegraph has been a great surprise for me this year.

phichifiji00, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of mwilbur
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip. Batch #95.
A: Pours a very dark brown with nice 2 inch light tan bubbly head. Very good retention. Only a modicum of light comes through with backlighting.
S: Chocolate malt, toasted grains, cinnamon, clove, allspice, melon, hint of pine, and a dash of spicy pepper. Great complexity for style.
T: Clove, chocolate, cinnamon, ancho chile pepper, wood smoke, cedar, and a strong malt backbone. Wonderful complexity here too! Perfect balance. Increase of spicy pepper with warming.
M: Creamy up front, mildly dry and bitter middle and finish (porter-like), subdued spicy acidity.
D: Excellent complexity and drinkability. ABV is spot on perfect for this brew. Seek it out and enjoy! Best winter warmer I've had to date.

11/28/13:
Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip. Batch #95. Bottle still opens with a loud pop.
A: Pours a very dark brown with luxurious 2-3 inch light tan head with excellent retention. (4.5)
S: Toasted malt, cinnamon, clove, dark dried fruit, mild chocolate, and a hint of spicy pepper. (4.25)
T: Cinnamon, dark dried fruit, clove, sweet caramel malt, wood smoke, and mild chili pepper. Has held up very well over time. (4.5)
M: Light-medium body. Sweet, mildly dry, hint of hot spice. Nice lingering and maturing on the palate. (3.75)
D: Still holds strong (has only lost a half-step) as an excellent brew...especially for style. (4.25)

mwilbur, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Jug Shop. 2011 Vintage.

Pours a deep plum, inch of head, nice lacing.

The smell has gingerbread, plum, spices galore and a nice caramel background.

The taste starts with dark fruit and nutmeg. This is closely followed by a heap of Christmas spices, cinnamon and clove being the most pronounced. Caramel and pine make an appearance as well. A little heavily carbonated for my taste.

Ages very very well. Not as much of a fan fresh though.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at American Flatbread
Poured a deep brown with almost no head to it. Nose is sweet and spicy. Taste is spiciness and some zing to it, perhaps some cinnamon and chocolate. Not big on roasted malts either. Very light but really good. I picked up on perhaps a Belgian yeast. Nice hops, goreat malt profile, well balanced, tastes great and easily drinkable! Damn good brew.

barleywinefiend, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of meatyard
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear, dark brown with a 3 finger, tan head that falls to a cover without lacing.
Smell is of spices, some smoke and a slight sweetness.
Taste follows the smell only more intensely. The smoke taste is particularly nice and lingers at the end.
Mouthfeel is thinnish but smooth.
Drinkability is very good. No noticeable alcohol and it feels likely to be low.
I was pleasantly impressed with this beer. It feels like a smoked spice beer, unusual and interesting.

meatyard, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is a pretty dark translucent brown. Poured to a half inch head in a snifter, the head quickly dissipates to a thin veil and a thicker ring, leaving motile clouds of lacing.

Aroma of chocolate, prune, cinnamon, clove, and juniper berries. Pretty intense and interesting.

Tastes quite spicy, in a holiday way, with some tree botanicals like juniper berries, or even spruce tips (like Alaskan winter ale). There is a little ancho chile pepper bite on the top of the tongue. Maybe it is just the chiles, but if that is all that is in here, then chiles are a good choice for a holiday ale, adding a nice peppery spice. There is also some dark chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in the mid-palate. This finishes cleanly with a lingering chile and chocolate bitterness, but wet on the tongue.

Body is light as is the carbonation, giving this a slightly fizzy mouthfeel, like a mineral water.

As a winter ale, it packs alot of taste in a light package, which makes it pretty drinkable, if you can handle all the spiciness, that is. I think it is best consumed with holiday foods. I am saving my other bottle for next year--should be good as the spicy elements mellow out into a smoother whole. We'll see.

Beerenauslese, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting with biegaman and grub, 750 ml bottle.

Pours an opaque black/dark brown, thick tan head, lace rings, thick layer, great retention, looks pretty sweet. Smell is funky, lots of fruit, sour cherries, spice, caramel, light chocolate, quite nice. Taste is sour and funky at first, very fruits, strawberries and cherry, chocolate, touch of roast, very spicy, a bit lemony in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, silky smooth. Good funky stout, Telegraph is definitely doing some fine beers. Thanks a ton Jan!

Viggo, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle at 50 degrees, courtesy of SouthBay Drugs.

Pours dark mahogany with a ruby translucency when held to the light. A solid two inch head of beige in the shoulders of the tulip faded slowly to reveal a full skim coat on the surface and a few errant dots of lacework.

Aromatics lead off with spicy phenols, cocoa, pepper-dusted raisins, and roasted toffee. Hints of cardamon, cloves, caramel, nougat, and smoke follow through. A hint of Spruce resin and dried pineapple linger. Warming on the nose and complex. A bit of Brett?

Medium bodied with a crisp and slightly creamy mouthfeel. A bit prickly with a bit of tackiness.

Roasted malt, pepper-rubbed cocoa nubs, and spicy raisins start the palate. Hints of char, menthol, and cardamon step forward.

Finishes with a building, spicy warmth, lingering dark-roasted cocoa, and pepper-dusted raisins. Fairly dry with a nicely balancing bitterness.

Nice beer, and I think some more time in the cellar would really pull this one together and mellow out some of the spicing.
I like it as is though.

brewandbbq, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of elNopalero
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was from Batch 65, picked up last spring and been sitting on it all year waiting for longer days and cooler weather to crack it open.

Poured it and saw a bit of a thin lacing on a ruddy amber brew. Not a lot of carbonation. But what an aroma! A hearty bouquet of cloves, cinnamon, allspice greets my olfactory nerves. It tastes sweet and Belgian-y, as if a rogue prankster Trappist monk snuck some yeast into a tasty holiday ale. I enjoyed the distinct flavor of the ancho chiles. More of a nuanced hint than anything upfront or overpowering but I thought it made for an interesting, layered brew. My favorite of a recent night’s tasting. Glad I picked up two of these so I have one more to enjoy.

UPDATE:
Enjoyed (revisited) this in December, 2012.

It’s still pouring with some vigor. Appears a toasty malty brown mahogany color with billowy foam that dies down into a tight ring. I get an aroma of clove, nutmeg, cocoa nibs, a light chile ancho hint on the nose. This brew is remarkable with some age—the flavor hits all the right notes and still holds up. Cinnamon and some spice give a light kick. Still has a great body & smooth finish.

elNopalero, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of JayTheFinn
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another tasty brew from Telegraph of Santa Barbara, California. This is new ale has a great deal of spiced flavors, creating a good scent, a wonderful taste and a marvelous aftertaste that makes you long for more. Here's a snippet from the description on the bottle, "...Inspired by Mexican hot chocolate, Telegraph Winter Ale warms even teh coldest of nights with hints of cinnamon, allspice, and sweet ancho chilies...using generous amounts of chocolate and caramel malts". It's a sweet, spicey delight perfect for the holidays!

JayTheFinn, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint, 9.4 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was dark mahogany, closer to black than anything else. Just over an inch of head. Nice amount of frothy lacing on the top, that stayed throughout the beer. The film was sporadic, but stayed. The film always looks better in a pint glass than a pilsner glass, so I’ll take that into consideration.

Initially smelled deep spices with cinnamon and gingerbread the only two I mentioned. Gingerbread is a spice you say? Well it is for this beer. Also smelled cloves, caramel, chocolate and toffee. Good smelling beer.

The taste wasn’t as much like the smell as I would have thought. I got gingerbread first, followed by cinnamon and a deep dark chocolate aftertaste. Spices rule the day here.

Full body. Slick texture. Average carbonation. Long spicy finish.

I liked this beer. It was definitely what I could call a winter beer. Too bad I live in California and can’t really appreciate the winter nature of it. Good beer.

BucannonXC5, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of seand
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark clear brown, with a fair amount of bubbly tan head. A layer retains pretty well, but doesn't leave much lacing.

S: Sweet winter spices, cinnamon, chocolate, brown sugar.

T: Much like the smell, sweet and full of spices. Cinnamon is again apparent, along with a chocolate note through the middle. The balance is nice overall, though pretty far on the sweet side of things.

M: Medium to light body, medium carbonation, dry finish. Quite smooth.

D: Very drinkable, a nice seasonal choice.

seand, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of BrewerB
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a New Belgium globe. Formed a 2.5 finger thick off-white head that collapsed down with little lacing but remained atop the dark brown beer. Good clarity.

S - Initial aroma is heavily slanted towards the spices. Cinnamon, allspice, vanilla are all present. There's a sweetness playing a role here as well. And a tinge of pepper-like spice. I'm also picking up on what smells like banana though. Interesting complexity in the aroma.

T - Roasted malts, hints of peppery-spice, vanilla, and cinnamon all mix together in a curious first sip. Finishing moderately with a lingering touch of sweetness. Bitterness is moderate and I'm having difficulty picking up specific hop character. Semi-sweet chocolate.

M - Medium-light bodied with a moderate to moderate-low level of carbonation. Expecting a little more body here to complement the complexity of flavors.

D - I'm glad to get my hands on this beer as it's the first I've sampled from the Telegraph lineup. While not my favorite Winter Warmer, it's a worthy attempt at the style. The variety of spices and dark malts mix well together but a little more body could help spark more of my tastebuds' interest.

BrewerB, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of caseyoharaa
4/5  rDev +6.4%

caseyoharaa, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of TeamUgly
4/5  rDev +6.4%

TeamUgly, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of bigoteetoe
4/5  rDev +6.4%

bigoteetoe, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Kkottonmouthkngz, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of drgonzo2k2
4/5  rDev +6.4%

drgonzo2k2, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of hpthebull
4/5  rDev +6.4%

hpthebull, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of RoamingGnome
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of 750 ml bottle into CBS snifter.

A) Deep brown, with a full finger of tan colored coffee house froth. The head settles to a dusting. Decent lacing. Quite inviting.

S) Yeast and chocolate malt. There is lots of spice. I pick up clove an some ginger. The aroma is more intense as this warms to room temperature.

T) Follows the nose pretty well... A nice combination of flavors, yeast, malt, a bit of chocolate, clove, ginger, and cinnamon. The finish is earthy and smoky. The aftertaste is really where you pick up the chili pepper, but it works really well.

M) Close to full bodied, with a moderate amount of carbonation. This is silky smooth, which I found surprising, based upon the spice in the aroma and taste. This has a really nice balance.

O) I don't drink a ton of winter warmers, but I've had my share. This offering is top notch, and I would gladly recommend.

RoamingGnome, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of earitt
4/5  rDev +6.4%

earitt, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of rallison
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature from a 750 corked bottle into a Duvel glass.

A: Wonderful dark, black body. 3 finger tan/light brown head that leaves a nice lacing.

S: Belgian yeast notes. Reminds me of some of the Unibroue beers.

T: Definitely has Belgian yeast characteristics. Taste is of Coca Cola, chocolate, and spices. Just a bit of alcohol in the back, but it's pretty well hidden.

M: High amount of carbonation, very similar to Unibroue beers. I am personally not a fan of this much carbonation, as it gives it a soda-ish feel. However, letting it sit does improve this and lends itself to a smoother mouth. Body is medium for this style of beer. Also feels a bit on the sharp side (partly due to the carbonation).

D: It's tasty and interesting, and not very heavy, so it does well here.

Another good, solid beer from Telegraph. Recommended.

rallison, Feb 04, 2007
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Winter Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.